For the first time in three years, thousands of DaVita teammates came together in person in January 2023 for DaVita Villagewide. This special event creates a moment to gather, empower and celebrate DaVita teammates and honors their commitment to patients and each other. During this year’s Villagewide, six outstanding teammates were recognized for bringing life to DaVita’s Core Values. These core values and caring behaviors serve as the set of guidelines DaVita uses to fulfill its mission: To be the Provider, Partner and Employer of Choice.
Here are the stories of the 2023 Core Value Award winners—in their own words and in the words of the colleagues who nominated them for their awards.
Megan Harrison, Facility Administrator at DaVita Dinuba Dialysis (Dinuba, Calif.)
Fulfillment: We make a difference. We feel rewarded—personally and as a team—because what we do in our jobs is consistent with our goals and dreams. We believe “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi) And when you are the change, that’s fulfilling!
Megan Harrison joined DaVita after graduating from nursing school 10 years ago. She immediately fell in love with caring for dialysis patients. A decade into her career, Harrison treasures the relationships she’s built with her patients and DaVita teammates. She knows each of her patients by name, and many of them stop by her office to say hello before and after treatment.
“I think my experience working the dialysis treatment floor helps me better connect with my team,” Harrison says about moving from working on the treatment floor to managing the dialysis center. “They know I understand what it is like to have to fulfill numerous daily duties to care for patients. This makes me a credible leader and helps me gain their trust.”
But Harrison has built that trust and connection in other ways, too. She personally hosts new teammates in her region and trains other facility administrators to build a welcoming environment. And throughout COVID-19 and other challenges, she’s demonstrated what it means to put patients first. After Hurricane Ian struck Florida in 2022, Harrison traveled across the country to provide care for patients and help for teammates in that region, despite having no shortage of responsibilities at home.
Donna Jackson, Group Facility Administrator Chadbourn Dialysis Center (North Carolina)
Integrity: We say what we believe, and we do what we say. We are trusted because we are trustworthy. In our personal, team and organizational values, we strive for alignment in what we say and do.
Donna Jackson’s peers describe her as dedicated, loyal, smart and absolutely no-nonsense. She’s not afraid to tell it like it is to maintain the well-being of her teammates and patients. Her leaders find that her unique perspective helps them see issues and areas of opportunity that they would otherwise miss.
When asked what integrity means to her, Jackson replied, “I truly think that integrity comes in many forms. As a leader, I try to practice what I preach and own up to any mistakes. At the end of the day, it’s about knowing that I tried to give 110 percent!”
In 2022, Jackson was tasked with organizing a float pool (rotating staff) at 17 DaVita dialysis centers in her region. She leaned into her organizational skills to create precise schedules to support teammates and deliver high-quality patient care.
“I go to work each day to serve others,” says Jackson. “I believe in what we do and how we care for our patients and teammates. DaVita has given me more opportunities than I deserve, but I am truly thankful for each one of them.”
Shawn Berger, Facility Administrator at Maumee Bay Dialysis (Oregon)
Team: One for All, and All for One! We work together, sharing a common purpose, a common culture and common goals. We genuinely care for and support not only those to whom we provide care, but also those with whom we work shoulder-to-shoulder. We work together to pursue achieving our Mission.
For Shawn Berger, being part of a team means always putting others first. As a servant leader, he strives to help others see their true potential.
“I have a run-to-the-fire leadership approach,” says Berger. “Through our daily interactions, I’ve built strong relationships with teammates in the region, and we work together to solve problems as a team.”
In 2020, Berger volunteered to help launch one of DaVita’s first centers created to care for COVID-19-positive dialysis patients. When a new IT program rolled out, Berger became a local expert. Whenever there is a staffing need in his region, Berger steps up to help. He is an inspiration for others because he always shows up–no matter the personal challenges he might be facing.
Brenda Scott, Facility Administrator at DaVita Broken Arrow Dialysis (Oklahoma)
Service Excellence: Serving others—our reason for existing. We continually seek to understand the needs of those who depend on us (our patients, doctors and fellow team members) and then to exceed their expectations.
Fifty years of service excellence. That’s what Brenda Scott brings to work every day in Broken Arrow, Okla. Scott began her career at the hospital bedside, guiding newly diagnosed end-stage kidney disease patients in one of the most stressful, challenging moments of their lives.
Today, in the outpatient dialysis setting, Scott has an incredible ability to create a sense of belonging in her center and to help her patients feel safe and valued.
“I am here to help my team with whatever they need–clinically, emotionally or helping them feel like they belong in our center,” says Scott. “All teammates are treated fairly and equally. I let them know they are important to me and can come to me at any time, with any issue.”
Those who nominated Scott for the Service Excellence Award commented on how she puts everyone at ease. She is not competitive; she is collaborative. Scott devotes time to welcoming new teammates and showing them the ropes to help them excel in their positions.
“My journey with DaVita and dialysis has been a whirlwind,” continues Scott. “What excites me about working at DaVita is seeing and watching the growth and development of other teammates. I am so humbled to receive this award, as my teammates on the floor are the individuals who truly represent excellence in service.”
Abigail Pat, Group Facility Administrator, Lake Worth Dialysis (Florida)
Accountability: We don’t say, “It’s not my fault,” or “It’s not my job.” We take responsibility for meeting our commitments—our personal ones as well as those of the entire organization. We take ownership of the results.
Abigail Pat takes pride in taking responsibility for her actions. As a facility administrator for three DaVita dialysis centers, Pat has developed a strong culture of safety. Her experience is extensive: She trains facility administrators across her region, onboards centers to complete and pass surveys required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and educates patients on the benefits of transitioning to dialysis at home.
“Before joining DaVita, I was an ER and hospital nurse,” says Pat. “I learned how to problem solve and work quickly and efficiently there. But, I wasn’t able to build long-lasting relationships with my patients the way I’m able to now, in the dialysis setting. I can see the impact that I have on their lives and my teammates’ lives. That’s very rewarding.”
Pat’s dedication to patient care was evident when a dialysis center located in a remote, rural area experienced staffing shortages. No nurses were available to open the center on a Saturday morning, so Pat–as the float nurse overseeing a region of three states–drove 300 miles on a Friday afternoon to arrive in time to open the facility at 6 a.m. the next day.
“I’m able to help other centers because of my team,” says Pat. “They make sure that if I’m not in the center, patients are well-taken care of and not left behind. I share this recognition with them.”